Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has had Hollywood abuzz for well over a year now. With the wide release just under two weeks away, early reactions have begun to surface and first impressions are positive. While the entire film has not been screened by press at this point, 28-minutes of footage was shown to various press outlets at Skywalker Ranch.
Director Gareth Edwards has said it’s a huge relief to know that, despite some setbacks in production, that what little has been seen of the film is well-received. Rogue One is not technically considered a prequel even though the film takes place before the Deathstar is completed. Fans will get a look at what the galaxy was like while both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance are trying to get a foothold.
After the press had seen some footage, they were able to speak with cast and crew of the film. Screen Rant was in attendance when producer Kathleen Kennedy (with interjections from star Diego Luna) gave some insight into the future of the Rogue One characters. Luna tries his best to be optimistic about the fate of the rebel characters, but Kennedy’s comments leave little room for interpretation. Of whether or not there could be a Rogue One sequel starring the same characters, she says:
“You know, when we came up with this idea to do the standalone movies, what’s liberating in many ways is the notion that we can come up with these stories inside the Star Wars universe that really have a beginning, middle and an end, and they stand truly on their own. And [Rogue One] does.”
Rogue One has done a lot to differentiate itself from the episodic Star Wars films, including nixing that famous opening crawl. The film centers around Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), and actually guides fans through several different stages of the female protagonist’s life. Based on where events begin Star Wars: A New Hope, and the three prequel films, it’s safe to assume Kennedy’s comments are so that fans taper their expectations. With only one film to cover such an emotional story, fans can pick up Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel which will include more of Jyn and Galen Erso (her father and Director Krennic) and their backstory in relation to film events.
Trailers have always painted these early rebels as the underdogs taking on what appears to be the insurmountable forces of the Empire. Though Diego Luna tries to lighten Kennedy’s admission on the fate of the characters, claiming, “that’s a conversation they haven’t had [yet],” it remains pretty obvious that the Star Wars anthology films will not be franchises. Kennedy adds with a laugh, “It’s devastating to everybody.” And when asked one final time if any characters will return, she simply replies, “doubtful.”
Source: Rogue One Press Conference